M.K. Stalin offers to quit; backtracks under party pressure
M.K. Stalin, DMK treasurer and son of party president M. Karunanidhi, Sunday offered to give up his post following the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, but rescinded following pressure from the rank and file.
A DMK leader told IANS: "He (Stalin) has offered to resign from the post accepting moral responsibility for the defeat."
Hours later, DMK leader Duraimurugan told reporters that Stalin had decided not to press his resignation offer.
According to Duraimurugan, party president Karunanidhi had advised Stalin that DMK would not fade away after this defeat and there was no need for him to quit.
"Leaders and cadres requested Stalin not to resign. Listening to party president's advice and agreeing to our request, Stalin decided not to press the resignation issue," Duraimurugan said.
Stalin's supporters gathered outside his house and demanded that he must not quit. Another group assembled outside Karunanidhi's residence and demanded that Stalin should not resign.
Stalin's offer follows DMK's debacle in the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu where it failed to win even a single seat. Of the state's 39 seats, the ruling AIADMK bagged a whopping 37 and the BJP and PMK won one each.
The run-up to the Lok Sabha election saw a bitter fight in the party's first family, leading to the dismissal of Stalin's elder brother M.K. Alagiri, the DMK south zone organising secretary.
Alagiri described Stalin's resignation offer a "drama" and a plan to capture the "top party post".
Alagiri told IANS: "It's all drama. His supporters will urge him to stay put and he will continue as before. It is part of a plan to bag the top leadership."
"In the current set up, there is no future for the party," Alagiri said.
He added: "The party president (Karunanidhi) has to take charge. Only then the party has a future."
Asked if he would rejoin the DMK, Alagiri said: "If I am called and given due respect, I will join the party again."
Alagiri, 63, had earlier accused the DMK of nominating only rich candidates in the Lok Sabha election and ignoring long-time activists. He blamed Stalin, 61, for this.
Stalin had also reportedly argued against an alliance with the Congress in the state. He also refused to give ticket to any Alagiri supporter.
On Jan 24, the DMK suspended Alagiri for opposing Stalin, who is tipped for the party's top post. Both are 89-year-old Karunanidhi's sons.
Founded in 1949, the DMK is one of India's oldest parties.
(Posted on 18-05-2014)